Friday, May 31, 2013

Prep work

In order to achieve my goals this coming month, I've taken the time this morning to come up with all the food I plan to eat next week, along with a shopping list and required prep work. I realized I've not been eating nearly enough vegetables lately, and I think my health and waistline are worse off for it. Here's what I have for the first week of June:

Shrimp ceviche (shrimp, onion, cucumber, cilantro, tomato, lime juice)
Cobb Salad with vinaigrette and chicken
Tuna salad (oil-packed tuna, greens, avocados, olives, red onion, cucumber)
Tacos (using lettuce wraps)

Breakfast scramble (eggs, onion, chorizo, sweet potato)

All I have to do is go shopping, buy everything I need, do some fairly simple prep work (chop up veggies, boil eggs, poach chicken breasts), and put everything into containers. Tons of veggies and protein (I'll be adding 50g whey post-workout as well), low calories, and all Paleo-compliant. I'm keeping the bulk of the carbs in the breakfast meal (with the sweet potato), since I workout in the morning so that will be the best time for that. This is pretty low-carb, so I am aware that I might need to adjust my carb intake to support athletic performance, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there (plus I figure I can just throw a half-cup of rice in with dinner to cover it). This doesn't really include dinner stuff, but I'll most likely stick with meat (either steak or salmon) and some veggies (I'm really digging asparagus lately, and broccolini is in season too).

I've gotten fairly good at prepping food for the week over these past few years, but lately I've been stuck in a rut of making chili or stew, and I'm really sick of eating both of these. So I had to put in a little bit of effort and came up with what you see here. The whole thing took me about half an hour, and all the prep work will probably take about two hours on Sunday afternoon, but that sets me up for a whole week of eating right and staying compliant.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May's done, let's make June happen

I took a vacation from work all last week, that definitely did not help me out in the weight loss department. Lots of booze and lots of crap food. I didn't gain anything though. Came back, weighed myself, 224. I've been cutting my calories and carbs the past few days in hopes of hitting my goal by June 1st, so it's doable but sketchy.

This month has been a transitionary period, I hope. Next month my goal is consistency in the gym, more specifically I want to get 22 gym sessions next month. That's averaging 5 days a week, which is what I really need to do to stay on the wagon. I've noticed whenever I get inconsistent with my workouts I also start slipping everywhere else. So hopefully I'll kill a few birds with one stone just by showing up consistently.

My new programming is pretty simple: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I'll do the Crossfit WOD at the gym, whatever it is. Tuesday and Saturday will be days focused on Olympic weightlifting (snatch and clean and jerk) since I have not made any good gains on my snatch in over a year. The regular Crossfit program contains the other strength lifts (squat, bench, deadlifts) so I really only need to supplement the Oly stuff. Ideally I would like to hit at least a 185 snatch and a 275 clean and jerk by the end of the month (currently at 175 and 260). Not sure it's doable, but hey, gotta have measurable goals.

I'll weigh in on the first and report in with my new weight goals for June.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Keeping momentum

Nothing much to post, but I wanted to post nonetheless to keep this whole thing right in the forefront of my mind. I'm not going to be doing daily weigh-ins, I've decided they fluctuate too much and throw me off, and I know if I just do what I know I should do (hit my calories/macros and my scheduled training) the weight will go where it needs to. I'll weigh in at the end of each month, just for goal tracking.

Last week I only ended up doing 3 gym sessions (instead of the 5 I had planned) which is bad. I'm always strong at the beginning of the week, but lose my steam by Thursday. I think I get into this whole rest-day mentality of "it's a rest day, need to make the most of recovering (i.e. being lazy)" and then I have a hard time getting out of that mindset. I need to focus on more active recovery, and just not getting out of the routine of getting up every day and doing something, even if it's just getting warm and doing some mobility work, maybe go for a walk or easy bike ride.

I'll focus on not losing momentum going into the weekend this week. I only have 4 scheduled workouts this week, since I'm working a fundraising event on Saturday, but I'm going to try to squeeze in some kind of workout later in the day outside of the gym.

Food has been pretty good. I ate well over the weekend, but too much beer is hindering things, so I have to ratchet that down as well. Bit by bit, just gotta find these little issues and knock them down one by one.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Some 'splaining to do

Today's Weight: 223.6 lbs.

First official weigh-in. Down three pounds from the last time I hopped on a scale, dropping carb intake will do that. I'm still going strong, got another workout in this morning, hit my calories/macros yesterday, and am on track to do so again today.

I wanted to talk about some of the reasons I'm doing this now. I just took a blood test (from to track my health markers (blood lipids, vitamin levels, electrolytes, glucose, etc.), and while most of my numbers were good (high Vitamin D, triglycerides/HDL/Lp(a) in the low-risk range) a few of them were disconcerting. One of them is Apolipoprotein-B, which is now thought to be a better predictor of cardiac risk than just total cholesterol or LDL-C. Under 60 is low risk; above 80 is high. Mine is 160. Not good. Combine that with a too-high LDL and total cholesterol, and I'm a bit worried. Also, my HbA1C (which tracks average blood sugars) is 5.7, which is borderline, and my fasting glucose is 103, again borderline. I'd like the former to be < 5.4 and the latter under 80). And my triglycerides and HDL, while in the low-risk range, are not quite where I want them to be.

So that brings us here. I figure if I can drop 25+ pounds by eating healthy and exercising intensely over the summer (and then maintain a healthy weight), I can bring these numbers back to where I want them to be, and hopefully not die of an infarction at a young age. My mom's side of the family has a history of heart disease and resultant early death, but they also didn't take good care of themselves (smoked, drank too much, ate poorly), so I'm hoping that by being aggressive about my health and wellness I can overcome the genetic odds and avoid having to go on any medications now or in the future.

I plan on redoing the blood test again in 6 months or so, when I'm at my goal weight, so we can see just how big an effect food and exercise can have on someone who has the genetic cards stacked against him. A little biohacking, if you will. Being an analytical person by nature, I love the idea of experimenting on myself, so I'm excited (and it's a good motivator anyway).